How the Recovery Stage 3 page evolved

After putting Cindys sore feet into focus of the Recovery stage 2, it was clear, that we had to think about their proper treatment. A foot bath might heal the blisters.

The first two sketches show, that I had something else in mind. I thought an eggcup would be enough. But there was a new problem coming up with it. If I used the eggcup, where should Cindy sit on? The three-drawer dresser was scaled in Cindy size, while the eggcup was more the size of a real eggcup, I would have on my breakfast table. I had to make my mind up, what picture I wanted to evoke. There weren’t many Cindy pictures yet, where her real size had been determined.

I put the sketches aside for the moment and moved on to other stuff.

Recovery stage 3

At some point the kitchen sink idea evolved and I went back to the old days, where Madge (here in Germany she was called Tante Tilly) was the savior of worn hausfrau hands.

I needed a nice sink and tap and started a quick research on the internet.

Water taps

The hardest task was to get the composition right. I remembered again one of Carla Sonheims assigments, where we had to play with cut out furniture to get a feeling for the different compositions. The questions were, where to put Cindy and the Palmo.  Cindy in the centre? I had to enlarge the pink background twice to find a composition I could use for the final art work.


Do you see the sponge Cindy is sitting on? We had to drop this idea, because Cindy was complaing too hard about the wet bump, she had gotten while sitting on it. And another problem I couldn’t really solve was, that her legs wouldn’t have been long enough to soak properly in the foamy water.




Read in the next  BEHIND THE SCENES post: playing with facial expressions




How the Recovery Stage 2 page evolved

After a long run or whatever exhausting business you might feel like doing nothing but watching your favorite TV programme. I saw Cindy  exactly in that mood after her Marathon. Sunday night many many people in Germany  watch the TATORT a popular crime series. So did Cindy, but (I think I am aloud to tell) she fell asleep far before the TATORT started at 8:15 pm.

First sketchOk, no stories here. We are behind the scenes. This time I wasn´t satisfied with the first metro sketch. So on the way back home I gave it another go. And that one was much better. I was so happy about my flower idea remembering that someone had told me before, that illustrations get better when you hide tiny details the observer can discover. And the flowers were just fantastic to show how stove up Cindy was.  I colored it at home with colored pencils and put it aside.

Recovery stage 2

I copied the scene on my light table just to find out, that I needed the flowers on the left. Why? Because Cindy should be the visual stopper on the right side. Do you know what I mean? Difficult to explain in English. It just felt better this way round.

There was also a long experimenting phase on the pained expression, Cindy should present. What difference the shape of the tiny eyebrows makes is quite amazing.


Cindy was perfect by now, so I could look for a nice carpet und wallpaper. As you can see at the edges I was also experimenting with the idea of an old fashioned photo album. The graphite carpet was quite chic and the nice green wallpaper  was fresh and a good contrast to the pink background on the other pages.  But that meant, that Cindy would have to sit on a pink sofa and change into her green jacket to get also on this picture a nice contrast.  We bought some white tulips, so they wouldn´t distract the scene. Yellow just didn´t fit for my taste.

The medal next to her was a last minute decision, because the wall was just too empty.

recovery stage 2

Read in the next  BEHIND THE SCENES post: How the Recovery Stage 3 evolved




How the Recovery Stage 1 page evolved

I love sketching on the Metro. Even when there is not a lot of time, because I have to change trains twice every 5 to ten minutes. But this amount of time is just enough to jot down my ideas. The tiny sketchbook I use for the sketches is very handy, because it fits in the smallest pocket and doesn´t attract the attention of my fellow commuters too much.

IMG_6043For this sketch I picked up the idea of the hot tub aroma satchet (klick here for more information about the satchets.) I thought, Cindy might be the best promoter of her products by using it herself.

So she had to hop into the mug. To keep her warm and cosy I put the candle underneath the mug. I wasn´t sure about the mug, so I juggled with the idea of using a wine barrel design. But at the end a more modern style  made it into the final stage.

She took her bathing cap with her. It is part of a the beautiful swimming outfit my art friend Paige had sent her last year.

We had to pick another bathing cap later on, because the color range didn´t allow the lovely yellow and red, Paige had chosen for the outfit. Sorry about that, Paige. But fortunately Cindy had drawn attention to your stunning design already in her Bicasso episode, you can find by clicking here.

At that time I hadn´t decided on the background color yet. So both colors were possible for the mug. Thinking about the background is still new to me, as my illustrations went without it so far. I tell you more about it in one of the next posts.

Recovery stage 1

Read in the next  BEHIND THE SCENES post: How the Recovery Stage 2 evolved



Cindy -Episode 63- the magic jellyfish mop



J is for Jellyfish

When you think of a cleaning fairy coming along with her magic wand to clear off your messy home, you probably have a sweet tiny person with blond curly hair and a beautiful dress in mind, waving her wand around and the mess vanishes into thin air in a second. But there’s a problem with all the images we carry around with us everyday. Because real life differs in so many ways from our imagination.

Cindy is definitely a person, who can help to broaden your mind. So she did today in the morning, when she appeared in the kitchen in this outfit. I am no longer extremely surprised by what I see, but today I must admit, it took a while to take in all the details, which were presented by my amazing flatmate.
“Good morning Cindy, what are you up to today?”, I asked her trying to sound as normal as I could. “Why are you coming up with such a superflous question, Petra?”, she answered. “Just look at me and you should know, what’s going on.”
But that was the big point. I had no clue, what that jellyfish on her head would stand for, neither her tightfitting wetsuit made any sense to me. Cindy put down the bucket, the jellyfish wobbling around her head. It was still alive!!!
“Cindy, you better explain your mission, before you start”, I urged her. She tried to make herself comfortable on the chair and then raised her voice.
“Didn’t Carla girl ask for help for her spring cleaning? Didn’t she say, her house was a mess? Here I am, the spring cleaning session will start at 9 o ‘clock pacific time, I presume.”
“But we are here, Cindy, and Carla lives about 5000 miles west of us.” “Hmmmpff”, she slumped down as much as the wetsuit let her, nearly dropping her stick, where a second jellyfish dangled on top of it.
“I forgot about that”, she wailed near to tears, “and what now?” I had no idea. I still was riveted by the steadily moving tentacles around her head.
Suddenly she came back to live, straightening her body. Cindy looked around and announced: “If Carla girl doesn’t need my help, then our windows will be as clear as the ocean after being cleaned with this MAGIC JELLYFISH MOP I ordered online.” She waved her MAGIC JELLYFISH MOP wand around, splashing the smelly seawater all over the kitchenfloor.

I wish, I could stop her somehow. Maybe there is someone out there in need of a MAGIC JELLYFISH MOP?


How the Runner´s Delight cover page took shape

I was wondering how I could get all the Cindy recovery sketches I had made on the Metro together in one series. It might be a good idea inventing a magazine to publish them.

There was the option of taking the Glamour for a glamourous girl like Cindy. But then I decided, that the sports aspect was the more convincing one. I started an intense internet research on running magazines and their headlines. Oh my, I didn´t know, what the world seems to be interested in. I put down some ideas and started on the layout.

I knew, that Cindy would be the Covergirl for this issue. I didn´t want to copy the original name of one of the magazines, so I opted for the Runner´s Delight. I don´t know, if this option makes any sense for native speakers, but it sounds nice to me.

I had made some restrictions on my series. One was, that there shouldn´t be any computer work involved, because I didn´t want to spend my art time on the computer.

That meant that I was back to writing, cutting, arranging and rearranging like in the years before the Computer. I copied the running Cindy on my light table to have her handy while playing around.

Background colour

What to do with the background? The colored one was working more like an eye-catcher. But then I had to find an answer for the headlines layout. So I tested many different styles in Handlettering and coloring.

Text and Handlettering

Just before I started with the final step of copying the draft I had made, I thought about checking the English phrases I had used. And how good that I did. Not all the English words we use in German are proper English words, I had to find out. So I changed the 70 + best ager into the Senior Marathoner. I wonder how many other words might sound strange to the native speaker.

The last step was just a routine piece of work, using my selfmade light table to copy my ideas. I like the outcome. Even if the shadows are not perfect yet. That is definitely a topic I can work on in the future. And one single S got missing, which I found out after scanning.

Runner's delight


Read in the next  BEHIND THE SCENES post: How the Recovery Stage 1 evolved




How the Marathon idea came up

Where do I get my inspiration from?

This time it was quite easy. It all started in the  H week  of our online class “Y is for Yellow” the night before the HASPA MARATHON HAMBURG, which took place on Sunday the 17.04.2016. I was chatting with my wonderful art friend Eva about the Marathon and I think it was her who asked, if my flatmate Cindy would be on the track as well. We are a fantastic team, when it comes to making up stories. The Wundertüten (click here for the Episode) we invented together in 2015 were sent to all parts of the world. A big thank you to Eva.

What a wonderful idea to send Cindy on the Marathon! I love getting inspired by what happens around me. So this time I had to research just in front of my door, because the Marathon track is not far away from my home.

Cindy was a bit surprised. But she had no choice but to get out her running gear. That´s the destiny of an artist´s flatmate. In my first sketch I played with the running kit, she should wear. Short pants, long pants? Energy drinks on her belt? Headband? Too many option. Doesn´t she look horrible in the left sketch? What an awful hairdo!

In the next step, it was already clear, that Granny Schwümmli would be at the start as well. I loved her glasses and remembered her handbag adventure. So I equipped her with her handbag and her slippers, she had been wearing for other occasions.

First sketches
First raw sketches followed by colored ones


It was pretty clear, that the two could´t just stand there. Granny was the first one to run. (She didn´t make it yet into color!)

I did some research on the Internet to get her running pose right. And I remembered one of Carlas assignments in her online Class “The year of the Fairy Tale”, where we were working on poses.

BTW: Don´t miss her “Fairy-Tale Summer” class, which starts June 21. It is one of my favorite classes. There are tons of fantastic assignments waiting for you.

Cindy running in the breezy morning air

I found Cindy’s outfit too pajama like. It gave a her a far too well behaved girlish look. So she had to change the next morning into a new more Cindylike running gear. I was glad about her new outfit, but don´t ask me, why I picked Pink for her.

Her running glasses were quite cool and she was happy with them. The morning temperatures were freezing. She must have been pretty cold just before the run in the startblock.

Poor Cindy!

She made it in 5:15. Exhausted but very happy she recovered during the next few days. What a wonderful opportunity for me to take out the pencils and report on her recovery.

Read in the next  BEHIND THE SCENES post: How the Cover page of the RUNNER`S DELIGHT took shape




May the adventure begin

I love posts and blogs, where artists take you behind the scenes, so you can get a glimpse of all the effort they put into their work of art. There are two blogs/websites I would like to mention here.

I am a fan of the, where illustrators and authors tell you the story behind the story. Reading their posts you understand very soon, that a book is not written and illustrated in 4 weeks time but that it needs a lot of energy, patience, willpower and perseverance to accomplish it.

My artfriend from the Netherlands Herma Starreveld has a beautiful blog, where she not only presents all her wonderful art but also talks about making art. You can find her website here

Cindy back in 2014

I just finished my first series (four pieces of art) for Carla Sonheims fantastic online class Y is for Yellow . My flatmate Cindy has got fans from all around the world. And now the idea of making my first Cindy book manifests.  This is a good moment to start talking about my workflow, how my stories evolve, where I get my inspiration from and how far the road is to publish my first Cindy book.

Long time I hesitated taking this step, but now I would like to invite you to accompany my struggles, kickbacks and progress I experience on my way to finish my project. There might be times, where I would like to hear your advice and opinion about this or that. And there might also be situations, where I could just need your encouraging and supportive words to move on.

I am still not sure, what should be in the book. Old stories? New stories? Less stories, more pictures? Maybe you like brainstorming with me? There are so many ideas I have in mind.

So here is my first question for you: What would you like to find in your copy of my Cindy book? Don´t hesitate to comment below and thanks for being part of the project.

Let´s get started. May the adventure begin.

Read in the next  BEHIND THE SCENES post: How the Marathon idea came up